Yesterday we caught wind of a Florida mass shooting in which a family was murdered. Details were scarce at the time, but with the morning comes additional information. It appears that a total eight people are dead: six children, the mother, and the grandfather by suicide. The suspected murderer is Don Spirit, a person who was previously convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm when he “accidentally” killed his son in a “hunting accident” years prior . . .
What will be interesting as the case progresses is to see how Don obtained the firearm he used to kill his family. The local constabulary isn’t releasing any details about the gun or how he obtained it, but with the recent push from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and other civilian disarmament groups on the idea of “ghost guns” and straw purchasers and background checks, you can bet your bottom dollar that this case will be used as proof that gun laws need to be tightened.
The thing that those gun control groups will gloss over is the fact that Spirit was a felon — he was already banned from possessing guns, and any method he used to obtain them was by definition illegal. No additional laws are required to make anything he did even more illegal, whether it was obtaining a gun or gunning down his family. He just didn’t care, in the same way most criminals don’t care if they break the law. Nevertheless, the usual gun controller suspects will be hot to trot on new laws to make it even more illegal-er.
This shooting takes place a little over a month out from the midterm elections and days after President Obama issued a statement calling for stricter gun control. The tragedy might seem like an obvious opportunity for politicians to use it as an excuse to call for more gun control legislation. The opposite is true, though.
The midterm elections are a day of reckoning for politicians’ anti-gun rhetoric, and all of them seem to be avoiding the subject altogether (unless they’re burnishing their pro-gun bona fides). Gun control isn’t popular by any stretch of the imagination, and advocating more of it has lost more politicians their jobs this year than secured them reelection. So while gun control groups (Bloomberg et. al) may try to force this issue with ads and commercials, politicians won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. It will make for an interesting dynamic in the run-up to election day, and depending on how hard Bloomberg presses the issue, it might actually cost some Democrats their seats. Again.